Glover Teixeira has certainly lived up to the hype that surrounded his UFC arrival last year, and after four straight Octagon wins, the light-heavyweight could lock up a title shot today in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Now, the bruising vet has to get by Ryan Bader first, of course, who has demonstrated numerous times he’s no joke, but that hasn’t stopped fans, writers and pundits from debating whether Teixeira can defeat champion Jon Jones (who is booked to fight Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165). In other words, there are still a couple of wrenches that could be tossed into plans for Jones-Teixeira.
Now, upset talk aside, Lyoto Machida was recently asked to comment on Teixeira’s title shot prospects, and here’s what the former champ relayed to MMA Fighting.com:
“I believe Glover is the next champion,” Machida said. “I don’t see anyone in the light heavyweight division to stop Glover Teixeira. Not even Jon Jones.”
“We train together for a long time,” he said. “To do well against him, you really, really need to know what you’re doing. He’s too strong for this division. He’s a heavyweight, and he’s durable. He will hurt you for five rounds.”
Wow. That’s some high praise, but it’s hard to argue that Teixeira isn’t extremely dangerous and well rounded. It will be interesting to see if, and or how quickly, Bader looks to take today’s fight to the mat and whether he can keep it there.
If you’re wondering, Teixeira is a pretty big favourite with the odds makers, ranging from -380 to -455. If Bader can pull off the upset, and Jones gets by Gustafsson, the UFC will have some decisions to make in terms of who “Bones” should fight next.
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